Negros Occidental

Himamaylan City Charter Anniversary

Himamaylan City Charter Anniversary is celebrated every March 31 in the City of Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, Philippines. It remembers the conversion of the municipality to a city in 2001. It is simultaneously held with the Himaya Festival.

History of Himamaylan City

The name Himamaylan may have come from a combination of hima, which refers to an illness, and babaylan, the revered spiritual leader and practitioner of natural medicine in pre-Hispanic society. Or it may have been derived from himaya, which is an expression of gratitude or thanksgiving.

In the beginning of the coming of the Spaniards, the entire island of Negros was sparsely populated. Only two areas were found where a number of natives dwelt, Ilog and Binalbagan, and they later became towns. On the other hand, Himamaylan was established in the 18th century.

Ilog was the first capital when the entire island of Negros was made into a military district in 1734. The capital was moved to Himamaylan beginning in 1795. Its status remained so for the succeeding decades until the capital was once again and finally moved to Bacolod City in 1849.

The initiative to turn Himamaylan to a city began when Representative Apolinario L. Lozadar Jr. filed House Bill No. 9885 and Senator Sergio Osmeña III filed Senate Bill No. 2255.

Himamaylan was transformed to a city by virtue of Republic Act No. 9028, otherwise known as “An Act Converting the Municipality of Himamaylan, Province of Negros Occidental into a Component City to be Known as the City of Himamaylan. It was signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on March 5, 2001 and enacted after a positive plebiscite turn-out on March 31, 2001. This is the date that the yearly charter anniversary commemorates.

Himaya Festival

The city used to hold the Seafood Festival in time for the cityhood anniversary and the Himaya-an Festival which ran from April 14 to 25. In 2020, a city ordinance was passed replacing Seafood Festival and renaming Himaya-an Festival to Himaya Festival. It also restored March 31 as the official date for the city fiesta. The first Shellfish Festival was also held in the same year.

Held from at the same time with the cityhood anniversary, Himaya Festival comes from the word himaya which means glory. It is an expression of gratitude for the progress that the city has witnessed over the years and among its citizens, for the manifold blessings received.

Among the activities are the beauty pageant Himaya Queen, parade, Patik Kawayan (a percussive instrument made from bamboo), and street dancing.

How to reach Himamaylan City

Book a flight to Bacolod-Silay Airport and take a land trip to Himamaylan City, which is over 90 kilometers away.


Himamaylan City Charter Anniversary Summary

NameHimamaylan City Charter Anniversary
CelebrationCharter Day
Contact(034) 744-6328-29
DateMarch 31
Historical eventConversion of the municipality of Himamaylan to a city in 2001
LocationHimamaylan City, Negros Occidental
OrganizerCity Government of Himamaylan
Previous NameHimaya-an Festival, Seafood Festival
Simultaneous eventHimaya Festival